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The development of the class struggle and proletarian internationalism as an answer to bourgeois nationalism and the danger of the imperialist war

Thessalonica 26th January 2013

Dear comrades,

We welcome you to the proceedings of the Balkan meeting of Communist and Workers parties in Thessalonica, which is being held on the initiative of the KKE. We consider your presence here important, not only because you are providing us over these days yet another opportunity to exchange information and experiences from our struggles, to coordinate our militant activity, but also because your participation here is a practical expression of the solidarity of the communists of the Balkans with struggles of the workers of Greece. Struggles, which are being conducted in conditions of a deep capitalist crisis, in which the bourgeois class is seeking to transfer its burdens onto the shoulders of the workers.

In recent years, when this crisis has been unfolding, millions of workers came face to face with the grave consequences of the crisis, experiencing at first hand the impasses of the capitalist mode of production. In this way, hundreds of thousands of workers lost their jobs, while both the workers’-people’s income and the free public social services for the workers have been dramatically reduced. The cause of this development is not the dogmatic attachment of the governing parties to “neo-liberalism”, as the party which is now the official opposition i.e. SYRIZA claims. Nor is it due to the “incompetence” of those who govern, their “treachery”, as nearly all opposition parties claim, with the exception of the KKE. Our party does not agree with these sonorous assessments regarding the causes of the harsh reality experienced by the workers in our country which in reality are extremely superficial for the system and in essence unscientific.

If the workers, not only in Greece, but everywhere do not clarify the causes of the capitalist crisis, of the tragic consequences they experience, then they will constantly be turned into victims, “lab rats” of the bourgeois staff, who are reorganizing the political scene, proposing new “formulas” for the management of the system, without hesitating to label them even “left” and “radical”, in reality giving the “kiss of life” to the capitalist system.

The causes of the problems, which the workers are experiencing, are to be found in the nature of the system, in which everything operates and moves with the business profits and profitability of capital as its “fuel”. A profitability which can be safeguarded only though the greater and more intense exploitation of the working class and the other popular strata. As long as society has as its “motor force” the profitability of the capitalists, the workers will experience the consequences of the scientific law called capitalist economic crisis. The inevitability of the crises is to be found in the DNA of capitalism: it is to be found in the commodity character of capitalist production, in its anarchy and unevenness, in the contradiction between capital and labour, in the contradiction between the social character of production and the private appropriation of its results, due to the private ownership of the means of production. The very quest for additional profit forms the tendency of the average rate of profit to fall. And from this standpoint, it is at the very least naïve to believe in a so-called “pro-people” and “left” management of the crisis and argue that capital’s profits can be maintained and at the same time one can “place people above profits”.

As you will be aware our party, particularly over the past year, had a very fierce ideological and political conflict, with proposals for a “left” governmental salvation of capitalism, which in the eyes of an important section of working class and popular strata was promoted as a pro-people “way out” of the crisis. We do not give up! We continue the struggle to “root out” this lie from the people’s consciousness, which is being spread by the government and the opposition, that either with patience and endurance regarding the anti-people measures or through the change of today’s three-party government by an allegedly “left” and “patriotic” government, capitalism will be humanized and concern itself with the worker, the poor farmer and self-employed and will start to solve their problems. Bourgeois power is comprised of institutions, open and hidden mechanisms, which operate regardless of which bourgeois party or party of bourgeois management is in government, or how the parliamentary majority is formed. The crisis shows the historical limits of this system. The necessity and timeliness of socialism is highlighted for the workers even more clearly than before.

These issues i.e. what is the real alternative proposal for the workers, the line for the rallying of the working class and the popular strata, what party we need today, will be the basic questions which will concern the forthcoming 19th Congress of our Party, which will be held on the 11-14 of April.


In the battle we are waging we do not neglect the fact that the crisis, is not simply ongoing, but is embracing and will embrace new countries. It is sharpening the competition between the imperialist powers, between the monopolies, over the control of raw materials, their transport routes, the shares of the markets. Thus, these days we see the installation of an array of NATO “patriot” missiles on the Turkey-Syria borders being completed. This is a development which brings us closer to an open military involvement of NATO in the imperialist intervention, which has been unfolding in Syria for a year and a half. In this period, major Russian military exercises are underway in the region of Eastern Mediterranean, which is already full of US and other NATO ships. Israel, together with NATO is also currently preparing an exercise with 100 warplanes. An operation that has been denounced by the KKE as it denounced those carried out by Israel in Greece because they had the unpleasant stench of an imperialist adventure against Iran. The confrontation, which is unfolding, can embrace a wider region, from the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf, to the Balkans, Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. These days France is drowning the people of Mali in blood with the approval of the EU and under the pretext of the “suppression of terrorism”. And this offensive is a product of the competition between the imperialist centres and the emerging capitalist powers for the division of markets, the energy resources, their transport routes.

And of course, as in the past, the bourgeois classes of the other capitalist states - which have an intermediate position in the imperialist system - are involved to various extents in the confrontations of the bourgeois classes of the strongest capitalist countries and are not at all idle. This is true of the bourgeois, reformist and opportunist parties in these countries.

The imperialists use on each occasion various pretexts, so as to win the people’s support or at least tolerance for the conduct of imperialist wars: “to stop the ethnic cleansing” and for allegedly “humanitarian reasons”, (as they told us in the war against Yugoslavia), “against terrorism” and “to stop the women wearing the Burqa” (as they told us in the war against Afghanistan), “so that weapons of mass destruction are not used” (in the war against Iraq), or even “to support the Arab Spring” ( as they told us in Libya, as well as now on the occasion of the bloody developments in Syria).

In these conditions we see the bourgeois classes and governments in the Balkans participating actively in the imperialist plans. On some occasions providing territories, airspace, sea and on other occasions armed forces, troops.

At the same time, these are the same forces which from time to time try on the “costume” of irredentism. The Greek bourgeois class, even now that it is facing the crisis, has never stopped treating the “Balkans” as a backyard for Greek capital, which it supports financially with tax exemptions in Greece, so that it can invest its accumulated profits in the other Balkan countries, where there are important margins for profitability for the present. Similarly, the bourgeois class of Turkey, with the Erdogan government and “Neo-Ottomanism” as a vehicle, is trying to entrap workers in a plan to reinforce its role not only in regional but also in global affairs, already playing a very dirty role in the developments in Syria, as well as promoting claims at the expense of Greece in the Aegean. The positions recently expressed by Berisha in Albania are also dangerous, as they contain territorial claims at the expense of many neighbouring states, in the name of a “Greater Albania”. Similar demands are being promoted in Romania at the expense of Moldova and the Ukraine. And while in our country the sharpening of nationalism is at the moment connected to the strengthening of the racist Nazi party “Golden Dawn”, with the pretext of the immigration problem, in other countries such as in Albania and also in Romania we see that it is connected to the ambition to annex territories.

In any case the strengthening of bourgeois nationalism, irredentism, nationalist-fascist forces, in all their manifestations, are objectively integrated -in some cases in a planned way and operationally- in the bourgeoisie’s plans, which seeks to impede the development of the class struggle, to assimilate the working class and its movement in capitalism. In order to achieve this, it addresses the workers and uses the argument that “we are all in the same boat”, we must all be “concerned about the fatherland”, about the “competitiveness of the national economy”. These appeals call on the workers to forget that in this “common vessel”, which the bourgeois class invokes, others, the majority, are in the “engine room” and with their toil and often with their blood safeguard its movement and all the goods inside it. On the other hand, there is a very small group that enjoys the sun, on the deck, without even moving a finger! It wants us to forget the basic contradiction which permeates society as a whole. And it does not stop there. But it is asking the working class and the popular strata to stop complaining, and to endure every anti-people measure with forbearance, so that our allegedly “commonly-owned boat” can grow even more. Indeed, it is promising that if something like this happens the workers will live better.

However, what is the reality? Will it help the workers if they support the bourgeois class of their country, showing e.g. endurance in the face of the anti-people measures, so that it can in turn provide new incentives and possibilities for the profitability of the monopolies, which will transform the toil of the workers into new capital exports? Should they march together with the bourgeois class of every country which still seeks the annexation of other territories?

Life has demonstrated that the acceptance of these arguments on the part of the workers in no instance will lead to a better life, quite the contrary. This is not a proof contained in the recent developments but is related to the experiences of the entire 20th century. The workers, if they understand that today every capitalist country, according to its size, its strength (economic, political, military) is in the phase of monopoly capitalism, the imperialist and final stage of capitalism, can realize that they themselves have nothing to gain from the change of the position of their country in the framework of an imperialist alliance, for example the EU, or within the framework of the imperialist “pyramid” which has been formed as a whole. Today even in the strongest capitalist countries, such as the USA and Germany there are millions of unemployed and workers who work without being able to ensure the minimum for the satisfaction of the popular needs in health, education, social security, housing etc. Even countries which maintain pre-capitalist remnants, countries which do not belong to a regional imperialist or global inter-state union are also objectively integrated and function in the framework of the international imperialist system.

Even more to the point, the working class has no interest in the participation in the imperialist wars, in the imperialist operations, in the wars for the annexation of territories, more generally in the imperialist wars, which are being prepared and can provoke a “domino” effect of changes of borders in our region, resulting in new major bloodletting and more general tragic consequences for the peoples.

From this standpoint, the organization of the people’s struggle against the participation in new imperialist wars is an important duty for us. Against the participation of the armed forces of our countries, against the use of the land, air-space and sea for the new imperialist wars- first of all against Syria and Iran, which seems to be on the agenda at the moment, as well as against the imperialist wars as a whole. The struggle against the use of the US-NATO bases of our region in the new wars and imperialist interventions must be strengthened. From this standpoint we consider the initiative which the TKP is taking next week in Istanbul against the military intervention of NATO in Syria and in which our party is participating to be important.

We must not let the bourgeois classes drag the peoples into new irredentist adventures, even using existent or non-existent minority issues in order to achieve their goal. The rights of the national and religious minorities in the Balkans must be respected and at the same time the minorities must become “bridges of friendship” between the peoples, and not the reason for new bloodletting.

The workers must not cease their struggle and enter the service of the goals which capital has in every country. The appeal to the “fatherland”, its “defence”, when it is made by the bourgeois class is completely hypocritical. As life itself has demonstrated, the bourgeois do not hesitate to bargain and cede the sovereign rights of their countries in the interstate imperialist unions with the basic goal of strengthening the profitability of capital and its power. The calls of the bourgeois class to the workers either to be supportive, so that as they say “the fatherland can get out of the crisis and become stronger”, as they tell us in Greece, or even about its “increase in size”, as is now being heard e.g. in Albania and Romania, are extremely dangerous. The communist parties must open a front against these appeals, because the struggle for independence, for the sovereign rights of every country is today inextricably connected to the struggle of the working class for power.

We have a powerful tool in our hands, the principle of proletarian internationalism which shows the road for the unity, the class unity of the working class in the Balkans, all over the world. Class unity of the working class inside every country and the struggle for the overthrow of the power of capital.

Joint action, coordination of the struggle of the working class in our region, at an international level against capital and the imperialist unions.

This is a basic task of the communist parties which must be at the centre of our attention.

We are very well aware of the difficulties. We know that the communist movement faces a prolonged crisis after the counterrevolution. But we have the obligation to outdo ourselves, to fight against the weaknesses and to insist on the line for the revolutionary regroupment of the communist movement, reinforcing the political-ideological and mass activity of our parties, strengthening our bonds with the working class, the popular strata, acquiring and developing Marxist-Leninist theory, revolutionary strategy.

Dear comrades!

We, the communists, must contribute with our struggle, with our positions so that the workers realize that imperialism is not merely an aggressive foreign policy that the government of the one or the other bigger or smaller capitalist country may adopt! Imperialism is monopoly capitalism, is the global capitalist economy, capitalism which is decaying, which cannot provide anything positive for the working people and in which all the countries are integrated according to their strength.

In no case can we permit politics to be detached from the economy! This relation is founded on the emergence and strengthening of monopolies, on their constantly increasing role not only in the economic but also in the political functioning of the capitalist states.

The capitalist states form imperialist interstate unions like NATO and the EU. The KKE, in opposition to the opportunist forces, which in Europe are rallied in the so called “European Left Party”, considers that the imperialist EU cannot be transformed to a “Europe of the peoples” because from the very first moment of its foundation it has been built for and aims at serving the interests of the European monopolies. Neither will NATO dissolve by itself as the opportunist forces claim nor can the imperialist system avoid wars, the imperialist interventions through the alleged “democratization of the international relations”, their new “architecture”, the so called “multi-polar world” which in reality is nothing other than the world of the sharpening inter-imperialist contradictions.

Dear comrades,

The assessment of the KKE is clear: what is required is the people’s struggle for the disengagement from NATO, the EU, from every imperialist union. A struggle the positive outcome of which can be ensured only by the working class power breaking the imperialist “chain”, detaching the country from the claws of the domestic and foreign monopolies and their unions.

Only on the terrain of the working class-people’s power, on the terrain of socialism can the peoples live peacefully, creatively and utilize for their own benefit, for the satisfaction of their own needs, the natural resources that will be the people’s property.

The capitalist restoration does not abolish the necessity of the struggle for socialism. On the contrary, it brings it again to the forefront.

Our struggle must converge on this. It can be coordinated on a global and regional level and in the Balkans so that our blows against imperialism and its unions become stronger and more effective.


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